A proposal by Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett to end quarterly earnings guidance drew considerable acclaim but also scattered criticism, including a sharp rebuke from an analyst who's been in the business for more than half a century.
The idea is "misguided" in that it would increase market volatility by reducing information and actually increasing speculation, said Dick Bove, a strategist at Hilton Capital Management, who has been a widely followed and sometimes contrarian voice in the financial markets since 1965.
"We're driving the market on rumor and innuendo, we're driving the market to high-velocity trading, we're driving it in all these directions that say knowledge has no value," Bove said in an interview. "These two guys are at the top of the list saying knowledge has no value, therefore we don't want to give it to you."
Dimon, who runs the largest bank in the U.S. as J.P. Morgan Chase CEO, and Buffett, the legendary head of industrial conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, rocked Wall Street with their suggestion that corporate executives should stop providing future profit estimates during quarterly earnings presentations.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed Thursday, and a joint CNBC interview, the duo bemoaned the short-term thinking plaguing market activity.
"In our experience, quarterly earnings guidance often leads to an unhealthy focus on short-term profits at the expense of long-term strategy, growth and sustainability," they wrote.
J.P. Morgan representatives did not respond to a request for further comment on Bove's remarks. A Berkshire spokesman pointed to a portion of the op-ed noting that "transparency about financial and operating results is an essential aspect of U.S. markets" and advocates for quarterly reporting to continue, minus the forward-looking aspect.
Dimon and Buffett are hardly the only business leaders who have criticized the increasing trend in markets to look for fast gains over sound long-term investing. Vanguard founder Jack Bogle has frequently worried about investors who aren't interested in the long-range prospects for companies in which they put their money, a concern that pushed him into pioneering the first mutual funds that followed indexes rather than individual companies.